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John Kasich on Education

Former Republican Representative (OH-12); 2000 candidate for President


Daughters attend a Christian school

I don't pay much attention to anyone's denomination of affiliation. Whatever works, is how I look at it--whatever gets and keeps you closer to God.

I worship in an Anglican church because I want to get Communion every Sunday. Other than that, I'd be comfortable almost anywhere. For a lot of people, church is also about community and fellowship. That's not me. When I worship in church, it's a very private matter--I guess because I'm such a public person in every other aspect of my life. I don't even feel that I need to pray with my family, at least not all the time.

My daughters go to a Christian school, and I'm very proud of the fact that they have both come to know the Lord. They have an age-appropriate understanding of what God is about, and that's reinforced for them every day at school, so I don't make them come to church with me on Sunday mornings. They can join me if they want, but I don't force it on them, and it doesn't seem to me that they're missing out.

Source: Every Other Monday, by John Kasich, p. 96-97 , Jun 15, 2010

Bible stories are historical facts

ike a lot of people, I'm of two minds on some of the fantastic stories. Some are clearly metaphor and allegory; others stand as factual recounting of human history, taken from the historical record. I believe it's important to repeat that here, I stand on the side of fact. I believe there was indeed an ark--and not just any ark but an impossibly, unfathomably huge ark--and that Noah undertook this impossibly, unfathomably huge task and completed it heroically. And I don't just CHOOSE to believe this because it pleases me to do so. I've read a bunch of texts and studied all kinds of histories and have come to the conclusion that there was indeed a man called Noah, who did indeed build a giant ark, which did indeed weather a tremendous flood and bring about a great change.
Source: Every Other Monday, by John Kasich, p.129 , Jun 15, 2010

Did earth come about on its own? Evidence says No

I know a lot of people who take the view that if you keep pummeling folks with this stuff, it's bound to come out a certain way. If you're in Karachi, you come out a Muslim. If you're in Delhi, you'll become a Hindu. In Rome, you're a Catholic. And that's a reason to wonder about faith, isn't it: You start to think, "Is it cultural?"

But then, if you go deeper, you have to go back to the basics. You know, how was the earth created? Did the earth just come about on its own? I don't think so, but then I look at all the evidence and study the scientists and everybody else, and I say, "No."

[Another man] might look at the same evidence and say, "Well, what about my life?" He's got his own set of experiences. So, sometimes I think we have to go back to basics, and I think there are times at which our faith is weak, and other times when it's strong, but it requires an assent.

Source: Every Other Monday, by John Kasich, p.155-157 , Jun 15, 2010

Our broken public school system is beyond fixing

Our primary and secondary school system simply doesn't work. I'm not alone in suggesting that it's not about to work any time soon.

We simply don't have the rigor, the control in the classroom, the innovation, or the personnel to keep pace. Our public school leaders are reluctant to take any action or bring about substantive change because they're afraid they're going to get sued, or they fear the loss of market share, or they worry they'll innovate themselves straight out of their own jobs,

Our public school system is log jammed, broken-down, paralyzed... and it's been unable to reform itself. That's because it's beyond fixing, I'm afraid. I'm not just talking about schools in our inner cities; the problem runs to our small towns as well, and all across the country.

Source: Stand For Something, by John Kasich, p.176-178 , May 10, 2006

Competition is what's missing from public school monopoly

The reason America can boast the finest system of higher education in the world is because colleges and universities compete for the right to teach our children , and yet it's this very competition that's missing from our primary and secondary school system. The little red schoolhouses that sprang up in the eighteenth century are in desperate need of refurbishing, but there's no incentive to rebuild because the public school establishment has a kind of monopoly. There are private schools where the spirit of competition is alive and well, and more and more we're seeing families of means opt out of public schools, but many parents can't afford to make that kind of choice for their children. Why shouldn't every parent have the right to choose where their children go to school? Why shouldn't teachers have to compete for the right to educate students?
Source: Stand For Something, by John Kasich, p.185-186 , May 10, 2006

Not enough money for public schools? Aw, give me a break!

For too long now, the rallying cry among public school educators has been that if they just had enough money they could fix the problem. Aw, give me a break! Money is not going to fix the problems endemic to our primary and secondary system for our littl red schoolhouses--and we do our kids a great disservice when we hide behind this argument.

Parents get in line hoping to get a spot for their children in a new charter school program that was to begin the following school year.

I came away thinking we have no choice but to open up all of our schools in just this way, so that we can finally put some teeth into the "No Child Left Behind" mantra that passes for an education policy these days, and if we can't give parents full choice on the education of their own children then we ought to at least fight for a robust charter school movement.

Source: Stand For Something, by John Kasich, p.191-193 , May 10, 2006

Send 95% of federal funds to classrooms

Kasich has supported key education reform. These initiatives include a law to guarantee 95 cents of every federal education dollar going directly to the classroom for activities and services (the current amount is 65 cents) and legislation that would return control of some 35 federal education programs to states and local officials.
Source: www.k2k.org “On The Issues” 5/27/99 , May 27, 1999

Redirect AmeriCorps funds to college and mentoring

We must re-direct and re-target a large portion of AmeriCorps’ existing budget to provide money for college students and seniors for mentoring programs. I changed my position on AmeriCorps after a visit to Harlem [an inner-city neighborhood in NYC]. There, I saw AmeriCorps volunteers providing an oasis of hope and opportunity. I saw teens walking kids to school to provide a safe presence; I saw seniors sitting on their porches in the morning to make children in the neighborhood feel safe.
Source: Columbus (OH) Urban League Speech, May 17, 1999 , May 17, 1999

Teach character in public school classrooms

Teachers should be allowed to teach children about hope and responsibility and character. [One school taught “character education” via a “Word of the Week” model, where] each week, a new value such as “honesty versus dishonesty” was incorporated into all teachers’ lesson plans. [The school] climbed from 28th to 5th place in standardized scores. The year before the program began, 150 students were suspended. 4 years later, only 10 students were suspended.
Source: Columbus (OH) Urban League Speech, May 17, 1999 , May 17, 1999

More after-school programs with federal plus local funding

Most youth violence today occurs between the hours of 3PM and 6PM --; after school gets out and before mom and dad get home. We must have more after-school, summer and weekend programs for children. The federal government can provide a certain level of funding for this, [but in addition] local communities must buy-in to the responsibility of providing children a safe and nurturing environment when they are not in the classroom.
Source: Columbus (OH) Urban League Speech, May 17, 1999 , May 17, 1999


John Kasich on School Choice

Empower local people instead of bureaucrats

Kasich’s principles on education stem from his belief in empowering parents, teachers, administrators and students in local communities - not education bureaucrats in Washington. Kasich believes that parents should be free to decide where, and how, their children are educated. “We’ve got to give choice to the American people in education because we’ve got to save our children and make sure they have the tools to compete and win in this world.”
Source: www.k2k.org “On The Issues” 5/27/99 , May 27, 1999

Create competition in public schools

[We cannot] fix the public school system without opening it up to competition and parental choice. Our bureaucratic one-size-fits-all public school system has lost its ability to encourage and nurture the uniqueness of each child. [We should give] parents the power to send their child to the best possible school -- it is a civil rights issue. This will bring huge change to our public schools, but I do not fear this change. The only thing I fear in public education is the status quo.
Source: Columbus (OH) Urban League Speech, May 17, 1999 , May 17, 1999

Tax money for entrepreneurial private schools

Kasich wants “total school choice,” which would allow states to organize schools as they wish, even using tax money to send children to private schools. A free-market enthusiast, he envisions entrepreneurs with “minimal qualifications” setting up new schools and competing for students. He has little patience for concerns that some of the neediest children could be left behind: “I don’t know what will come, but I know what we have ain’t working.”
Source: Los Angeles Times, “Kasich Eagerly Rolls”, 4/6/99 , Apr 6, 1999

Voted YES on allowing vouchers in DC schools.

Vote to create a non-profit corporation to administer federally-funded vouchers for low-income children in the District of Columbia.
Reference: Amendment introduced by Armey, R-TX; Bill HR 4380 ; vote number 1998-411 on Aug 6, 1998

Voted YES on vouchers for private & parochial schools.

Vote to pass a bill to allow states to use certain federal funds designated for elementary and secondary education to provide scholarships, or vouchers, to low-income families to send their children to private schools, including religious schools.
Reference: Bill sponsored by Riggs, R-CA; Bill HR 2746 ; vote number 1997-569 on Nov 4, 1997

Voted YES on giving federal aid only to schools allowing voluntary prayer.

Motion to add language to the "Goals 2000: Educate America Act" to give federal aid only to schools allowing voluntary prayer.
Bill HR 1804 ; vote number 1994-85 on Mar 23, 1994

Supports a Constitutional Amendment for school prayer.

Kasich co-sponsored a resolution for a School Prayer Amendment:

H.J.RES.52 (2001), H.J.RES.66 (1999), S.J.RES. 1, H.J.RES.12, H. J. RES. 108, & H. J. RES. 55:

Nothing in this Constitution shall be construed to prohibit individual or group prayer in public schools or other public institutions. No person shall be required by the United States or by any State to participate in prayer . Neither the United States nor any State shall compose the words of any prayer to be said in public schools.
H. J. RES. 78 (1997):
To secure the people's right to acknowledge God according to the dictates of conscience: Neither the United States nor any State shall establish any official religion, but the people's right to pray and to recognize their religious beliefs, heritage, or traditions on public property, including schools, shall not be infringed. Neither the United States nor any State shall require any person to join in prayer or other religious activity, prescribe school prayers, discriminate against religion, or deny equal access to a benefit on account of religion.
Source: H.J.Res.78 97-HJR78 on May 8, 1997

2010 Governor, House and Senate candidates on Education: John Kasich on other issues:

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